Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh Bummer!

This is a phrase that we have taught our son to say after he picked up the word damn't from...I don't know where ;).  It has also become my go to phrase for anything frustrating or disappointing.

Josh and I (well, really I) have been on a quest for healthy living and because my husband loves me, he goes willingly along with pretty much anything I do (isn't he great!).  I truly believe that a lot of food intolerance issues can be healed by proper diet and nutrition.  This evening, I was successfully talking Josh into doing a 21-day detox program with me.  He asked me for more details so I went to the blog I have been following for awhile, www.findyourbalancehealth.com, (you should check it out, Michelle is amazing!) and I was reading the details of her program to Josh when I get to the very end of the page where it says, "not recommended during pregnancy or while nursing."  This is where the "oh bummer" comes in.  We were finally ready! Such a bummer.

My mom, bless her heart, tried her best to feed us a healthy diet.  We were never fed prepackaged foods and in my lunch everyday without fail was a baggie of carrot sticks, which I hated.  Sometimes, if I was lucky, I got celery with peanut butter which I preferred but still didn't like.  My mom, despite her best efforts could not curb my sweet tooth, especially for pastries.  I come by this honestly.  My mother would tell me stories about how my Dad could eat a whole plate of cookies by himself....well sorry mom, so could I.  I have tried alternative sweeteners (the healthy kind) and going cold turkey but nothing has fixed the issue.  Then I get in this awful cycle of being too exhausted to eat healthy and yet exhausted from eating crap...even "healthy" crap.  Just because it's organic and gluten free does not make it healthy.   I have also had a hard time breaking this habit because I have had no outwardly consequences.  I have remained relatively the same size, even after two kids, all while eating crap.  Even though it seems silly to complain about such a thing, I can tell my body inwardly is suffering.

This year, we are trying to change this.  It's going to be a challenge of epic proportions.  We will be attempting to change habits that have been commonplace for almost our entire lives! Like the fact that just because I ate my vegetable sides at dinner, I thought I was eating healthy, never mind that the entree was sauteed and then smothered in butter and cheese.  However, I believe we can do it.  I am having to change things more slowly because I am nursing but hopefully I will be posting our success.  My goal is that by this time next year, dairy and the occasional digestion of gluten won't have me doubled over or prickly from eczema. Go kale chips and roasted chickpeas! We can do this!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Food Allergies

I'm pretty sure that at some point I mentioned Carson's food allergies, which we believe to be dairy and gluten.  Now that he's a toddler it's really hard to control what he eats, especially with a doting Grandma right next door.  However, I try to limit those two foods as much as possible and I'm thankful that Carson loves coconut milk, fruit, and veggies!

It turns out little Emily has the same two allergies which probably means I do to and have just been ignoring the symptoms.  Thankfully Emme is only nursing at this point so cutting certain foods out of her diet are fairly easy.

This last week I cut out both dairy and gluten.  Her pin prickly rashes instantly went away and a few days later so did her gigantic welts that were crusted over and now slowly her eczema is healing and nearly gone! So that is good news.

However, I miss bread desperately!   I'm thankful for all the gluten free foods on the market.  Plus, this doesn't mean I'm done with bread, I just get to now experiment with other grains besides wheat.  After I'm done nursing Emme, and my own gut has had a chance to heal from gluten, I will probably try Sue Gregg's soaking grain methods and see if we have any reactions to it.

Living without dairy has been the hardest.  I never realized how many of my recipes called for cheese or milk!  It's been fun finding new and tasty recipes though and I hope through this culinary change, 2012 will be the healthiest year my family has ever had!

I did want to post the symptoms of gluten and dairy sensitivity.  I was surprised to find that I had a lot of the symptoms on each list. Most of the symptoms are not major medical issues and may not even cause you to give it a second thought.   You just get used to certain health issues or don't even realize they're an issue at all, you just learn to live with it...like dry skin.  Even if you do cut these two culprits out of your diet, it can take 2-3 weeks to see results from cutting out dairy and sometimes up to a year for adults to see results from cutting out gluten!  Here's a list just in case, you too have some hidden health issues!

Dairy Sensitivity:

    Abdominal Pain                      
    Canker sores
    Ear Infections
    Iron deficient anemia
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    Joint Pain
    Lactose Intolerance
    Poor Growth
    Poor immune function (frequent illness)

Gluten Sensitivity:

    Mouth Sores (canker sores)
    Cracks in Corners of Lips
    Tooth Enamel Defects or Discoloration
    Frequent Indigestion
    Malodorous frequent gas
    Malodorous light or clay colored stools
    Steatorrhea (floating stools)
    Abdominal Distension (look like gained 2 sizes, belly is hard)
    Chronic diarrhea or constipation
    Irritability or Moodiness
    Muscle Weakness
    Chronic fatigue, (Exhaustion)
    Bone or Joint Pain, (Aching Joints)
    Infertility (miscarriage, delayed puberty in girls, irregular menstruation.)
    Skin Rashes (eczema, psoriasis, boils)
    Dermatitis Herpetiformis (skin rash related to celiac disease)
    Failure to Thrive in Babies, Short Stature in Adults
    Peripheral Neuropathy (tingling or numbness in arms and legs)
    Ataxia (gait difficulty, balance problems, uncoordinated walking)
    Weight Changes (Sudden gain or loss of weight)